Sailor Moon Crystal Act 12, Enemy – Queen Metaria, Review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 12 - Evil Tuxedo Mask threatening Sailor Moon

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 12, Enemy – Queen Metaria, began streaming on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Niconico on December 20th. Endo, the guy who looked just like Mamoru, was revealed to actually be Mamoru! Shock! We’re really ramping up to the end of the Dark Kingdom story arc this week as a lot of important plot develops. This episodes deviated more from the original Manga equivalent story than any other episode to date. We’ll look at some of those differences.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 12 - Sailor Moon killing Queen Beryl

We begin with the final battle with Queen Beryl. This is where everything changes. In the manga Queen Beryl ties up Sailor Moon with her hair and Sailor Venus uses her Venus Love Me Chain to cut her hair and free her. In Sailor Moon Crystal Queen Beryl ties up all five of the Sailor Guardians with her hair. Sailor Venus uses her sword to cut them all loose. The battle quickly ends in the Manga as Sailor Venus runs her sword through Queen Beryl but Sailor Moon Crystal has Beryl defending herself with a sort of force field. Sailor Mercury identifies Queen Beryl’s necklace as controlling Queen Beryl and it’s Sailor Moon who then takes the sword to break the necklace, which causes her to wither away and die. This change bothered me a bit, even as someone who’s always excited for deviations from the original story. For a show that’s otherwise been so faithful what does this change accomplish? No “good guy” actively kills the enemy for one, which keeps their hands clean, but if it’s just about toning down the violence later events in the episode are not consistent with that. The idea is that Beryl is being controlled by Metalia and has no choice in the matter, just like Mamoru and the Shitennou. So where are the necklaces controlling them? They all seem to be able to have their minds be cleared up through other means.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 12 - Ancient Moon language on the Holy Sword

Another less important change occurs as a side effect of this changed scene. When the words appear on the sword in the manga Sailor Venus is still holding it and read them easily. Here the sword is in Sailor Moon’s hands, and the words appear facing her, while Sailor Venus who is on the other side of the sword manages to read them. Sailor Venus’s contribution to the story continues to be marginalized as Tuxedo Mask leaves alone, with Sailor Moon in pursuit as opposed to the original story where Tuxedo Mask takes Sailor Venus and is pursued by Sailor Moon. This is sort of necessary because of the next scene.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 12 - The Shitennou

We finally have the Shitennou’s surviving this long play out in a somewhat brief exchange between the Sailor Guardians and the Shitennou. As we have mentioned before the Shitennou used to be good and there was insinuation in the manga that they were coupled with the Sailor Guardians. This was confirmed in an earlier episode. This week we have a brief fight between them and the Sailor Guardians followed by them being healed by Sailor Planet Attack. We learn that each was a knight that represented something. Zoisite was the Knight of purification and healing, Kunzite was the Knight of purity and affection, Jadeite was the Knight of patience and harmony and Nephrite was the Knight of intelligence and comfort. Unfortunately their moment of clarity was short lived as Queen Metalia quickly killed them. While I very much appreciated the addition and inclusion of this scene I was a bit upset that it was so brief. There really wasn’t room for a much longer scene without cutting anything else out. Perhaps if a full episode had been added we would have had a chance to get more in depth with this story but then we wouldn’t have been able to included two entire story arcs in a year of 26 Sailor Moon Crystal episodes. This was the end of the bigger changes with this episode.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 12 - Sailor Moon killing herself

The interaction between Sailor Moon and evil Tuxedo Mask is largely unchanged. By the very fact that they are together alone for a while makes for a more intimate scene. Sailor Moon tries to win over Mamoru by showing him his watch, a symbol of their love for each other, which mirrors a similar scene from the original anime. Because they are alone we don’t get to see Sailor Venus’s new attack, Venus Rolling Heart Vibration. When things get hopeless Sailor Moon’s last resort is to kill Tuxedo Mask and then, devastated by losing him, she takes her own life. This very violent scene is sort of integral to telling the story but it’s inclusion makes one wonder why they would be cutting the earlier much less violent killing of Queen Beryl.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 12 - Enemy - Queen Metaria

Note on the spelling of Metalia. The title of this episode has her referenced as Queen Metaria but she is referenced as Queen Metalia in the subtitles throughout the episode. The English version of the manga similarly referred to her as Metaria in the act 12 title but as Metalia within the translated pages of the story. This is due to the fact that in the Japanese title for both the words “Queen Metaria” were spelled out in English letters and translating them would have looked quite odd. The spelling of this word is highly debated amongst fans, as the meaning of the name is also subject to some interpretation. As the Dark Kingdom villains are named after gems one idea is that Metalia’s name comes from “Metal”. I do not pretend to know all of the absolute answers explaining all names but I have decided to use Metalia as the spelling. I think this looks more like the word is pronounced and makes more sense. As for the choice to spell it Metaria as the manga title, I simply attribute this to someone writing a Japanese word phonetically which does not necessarily conform with English spelling. There are tons of similar examples of this in Sailor Moon. If you’re not sure, just as Singo.

Singo

Once Sailor Stars gets a new dub I’m sure we’ll have plenty of opportunities to debate the translation and spelling of words once again.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 13 - The Sailor Team defeating Metalia

Next up on January 3rd is Act 13, Final Battle – Reincarnation. Are Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask dead or did they learn a lesson from 1990 the hit film Problem Child? The episode, despite it’s title, will not likely include the Final Battle but it should include all of the build up to it! This will be the last full episode covering the Dark Kingdom story arc as Chibiusa is expected to arrive at the end of act 14, premiering on January 17th.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 13 - Final Battle - Reincarnation

Keep reading for more screenshots from this episode and the next episode preview.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 12 - Queen Beryl attacking the Sailor Guardians with her hair

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 12 - Beryl

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 12 - Sailor Venus attacking Beryl

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 12 - Beryl watching Endymion and Serenity

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 12 - Queen Beryl dying

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 12 - The Sailor Team

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 12 - Evil Tuxedo Mask and Metalia

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 12 - Sailor Moon trying to calm Tuxedo Mask with his watch

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 12 - Sailor Venus crying

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 12 - Sailor Moon getting choked

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 12 - Sailor Moon kissing a dying Tuxedo Mask

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 12 - Sailor Moon killing Tuxedo Mask

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 13 - Evil Mamoru not evil anymore

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 13 - Mamoru being reincarnated

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 13 - Orgel breaking

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7 thoughts on “Sailor Moon Crystal Act 12, Enemy – Queen Metaria, Review

  1. Regarding Beryl’s necklace and why her form of control was different from the others, my theory is that Metalia seems to be using Beryl as a host, and that would maybe require a bit of magical stone action to add that level of control or the ability to enter Beryl’s body more easily. Maybe that’s why Beryl is the only one whose physical features were warped from Dark Power.

    Did anyone else notice that the qualities of the Shittenou mirror the metaphysical properties of the stones they represent? Basically, those crystals who bear the same name are used for those purposes.

    Anyway, the scene between the Senshi and Shittenou should have been longer… I do hope that someday we get some prequel action in the form of an OAV, small series, or movie. There’s so much that’s being said but we don’t get to see any of it.

  2. Oh, and as to Venus reading the sword from behind, I believe she’s reciting the legend as she remembers it, rather than actively reading it. I believe it’s implied that she’s had her full set of memories awakened (by Kaitou Ace/Adonis/Danburite in the Sailor V manga) and time enough to process them, whereas the other girls are still getting theirs back in bits and pieces and never seem to remember all of it as fully as Minako does.

  3. I might be misremembering this, but my translation on Hulu said that the necklace was the source of Beryl’s power. And personally speaking, I was hoping that we’d see a bit more of Beryl’s backstory, but all we see is her younger self running and hiding behind a pillar, looking sad to see Endymion with another girl. Was she a servant in this version? A court noblewoman? A magician? Come on Toei, give us some background!

    And that scene with the Shittenou and the Sailor Guardians was too short. They’re saved and their memories are revived, and then BAM! They’re dead. I think I said out loud “That was anticlimactic.” I think I would’ve enjoyed it more if they died fighting alongside the Guardians rather than being killed right off the bat. Actually, I think I would’ve enjoyed this more if earlier they took more liberties with the plot and went in a different direction with the story like the original anime did.

    But hey, I’m not on the writing team, so what are you going to do? Just write my own stories and take them in the directions I want to go, I guess.

    Still, looking forward to next week. I forget how Sailor Moon saved the world in the manga, so I’ll enjoy seeing it here in the anime and getting a decent reminder of how it went down. Only two weeks to go!

  4. I really liked this episode. I don’t mind the changes, but I really wanted to watch Venus doing the Rolling Heart Vibration attack. I knew the Shitennou were going to die sooner or later. At least they remembered and their spirits endured to protect Endymion, like in the manga. If I can remember this never happened in the old anime version. I hope they appear to Mamoru in spirits with the stones on the next episode or eventualy. Can’t wait to see Chibi Usa XD

  5. In many ways I wished they’d just stuck to the manga and killed off the Shittenou. It seems pointless now to have kept them around at all. And I also think that Venus should have been the one to take care of Beryl, it would make Sailor Moon versus Metalia have more of an impact.

  6. I wish they had Venus killing Beryl……and what is up with Metallia vaporizing the Shitennou in one hit?

    I wish they’d stop dropping important plot elements in order to showcase Usa/Mamo.

  7. When the episode began I was just so excited, and then the more it ran through the more excited I was.

    But I didn’t understand some things :

    – why is it Sailor Moon that kills Beryl instead of Sailor Venus ? If my memory serves me well, Sailor Venus is the only one able to use the sword, and this sword must indeed be used by the leader of the Senshi, who is Sailor Venus herself.
    So can Sailor Moon use that sword ? Because I just wonder… I understand that it gives a meaning to the episode to make Sailor Moon stabbing Beryl herself (because she was so angry and sad after losing Endymion due to his brainwashing by Beryl… so all her “bad energy” made of frustrated love became ferocious energy, strong enough to break Beryl’s necklace…), but I think everybody was strongly waiting for Venus to kill Beryl, espcially since Venus was the only one to grab the sword on the Moon a few episodes ago, and that this fact had a real meaning…

    – Beryl’s evil powers and even life force coming from her necklace ? Why not after all… If we assume that the Kings were reincarnated as normal human beings (like the Senshi and Endymion) and that they were found on Earth by Beryl first and immediately brainwashed, however we can assume that Beryl was not a human any more when she came to be corrupted by Metalia during the Silver Milenium. So we can suppose that Metalia broke her seal during the 21st century, and revived Beryl from her ashes and from the depths of the Dark Kingdom, by giving her an artefact – here a necklace – able to shape her again from her ashes, but also able to maintain her in life and to give her powers. But the Kings, in that perspective, were born as real humans, like our Senshi and Prince. Which makes me say that they were not corrupted during the Silver Millenium, and maybe died giving their lives for Endymion.

    – where is Motoki ? Let’s notice that Sailor Moon performed a Moon Healing Escalation at the end of the previous episode, which was enough to heal Motoki and Jupiter, and then, we can suppose that Jupiter discreetly brought him back to the surface to rejoin the battle right after. Ok, it’s a good supposition.

    – and the last point, the Four Kings… damn it, why ? Why keeping them alive to kill them in a so miserable and lousy way ??? C’mon, the moment where they remembered was so great (Kunzite down on his kjnee, looking at Venus and saying her name… wow…) that I said to myself : “Now they’re going to join the battle, to make Endy remember who he really is, in turn, and to die heroically and tragically trying to destroy Metalia and to protect the rest of the team… We are gonna see them in action, even briefly, hell yeah ! But no… Nothing of that happened. Seriously, it wouldn’t have taken a lot of time to integrate this plot in both the acts 12 and 13. This would have been a new noticeable change from the manga,but since they had to die in the final battle, there would have had no problem into making them having a part in that last stand.
    Clearly, I am not a SenshixShitennou shipper, but I love the Shitennou and at this point of the show, my hope was that they could have been used to fight against Metalia. The Shitennou subplot was finally empty and led to nothing. But the first Arc isn’t finished yet, and surely we’ll get a chance to see their spirits telling the rest of the team how to defeat Metalia (the mark on her forehead), and to see them turned into stones during the reincarnation process.

    After reading reactions on the Internet, I have the feeling that this episode is a huge source of complaining and disappointment from the fans, and that it’s maybe the more criticized episode since the show began airing in July.

    It was a great episode I found, but the Kings miserable death… no way. This is the only think I cannot admit. And since Metalia killed them, why did she not kill the Senshi ? They were completely reachable… Seriously, they were included in the package ! Lol !

    (BTW, the Senshi crying all together before the Kings’ corpses… it was a little ridiculous, i found)

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